Naxiely Lopez-Puente

Naxiely Lopez-Puente covers Hidalgo County and Edinburg for The Monitor. You can contact her at or (956) 683-4434.

Forum to host candidates for Districts 36, 41

Candidates for state representative Districts 36 and 41 are expected to debate each other during a forum here Thursday. The McAllen Citizens League is hosting a political forum that is open to the public and free of charge. The event will be held at noon Thursday at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and attendees will have the option to purchase lunch. Members of the League will be charged $18 for their meals, while non-members will pay $20. Read the full story at

McAllen Medical earns top honors for its stroke center

McAllen Medical Center is now equipped to handle the most complex neurological needs in the Upper Rio Grande Valley. South Texas Health System announced Tuesday the hospital received a DNV-GL Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, which means it can quickly and efficiently treat all kinds of strokes. The designation is the highest level of stroke certification available and it encompasses the full spectrum of care — diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education. The distinction is awarded by the Det Norske Veritas, or DNV group, a Norwegian risk management company founded in 1864 and approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Read the full story at

Interim city manager to lead Edinburg EDC

The interim city manager here will also oversee the city’s economic development arm, and he’s agreed to do the extra work at an unbeatable bargain. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation board made the decision during a special called meeting Monday, following last week’s resignation of interim executive director Ruben Ramirez. Edinburg Councilman Gilbert Enriquez nominated interim city manager Richard Hinojosa to the post after the board discussed the issue for about 30 minutes behind closed doors. Read the full story at

Edinburg EDC without executive after interim head resigns

Come Monday, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will be down to a single employee following two years of high turnover. Interim Executive Director Ruben Ramirez announced his resignation Tuesday during an EEDC meeting, indicating he will return to his practice as an attorney. His resignation takes effect Monday. “I don’t want anybody to think that somehow this was an ousting or a termination, or for the (Edinburg EDC) board to get a bad reputation because it is unwarranted,” Ramirez said via a news release earlier this week. “We have a great working relationship. These things happen.” Read the full story at

Ex-Edinburg city manager charged with assault

Former Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra has now turned himself in to local police after defending himself against accusations of assault from his former fiance, Miriam Cepeda. Read the full story at

Ex-Edinburg city manager disputes assault narrative

Edinburg's former city manager recently accused of assaulting his fiance faced a similar accusation about seven years ago while working for the city of Pharr, but said the case has since been expunged. The documents surrounding Juan Guerra’s first assault accusation involving his ex-wife, Lucy Castanon, and his former sister-in-law, Monica Castanon, should not exist anymore, his attorney Reynaldo Merino said Tuesday. “That’s the whole reason you do any expunction, is to purge (it)... so it’s never brought up again,” Merino said. The Monitor, however, obtained a copy of the case surrounding the Sept. 14, 2012, incident in which Guerra was listed as a suspect, but never arrested or charged with a crime. Read the full story at

Source: Romantic dispute between former employees led to Edinburg police chief’s suspension

A whirlwind romance that ended in a messy dispute between the former city manager and one of his employees may have landed the police chief here in hot water. The relationship between former city manager Juan Guerra and his subordinate, former legislative affairs liaison Miriam Cepeda, was fraught with whispered rumors since its start in early 2019. Both had just started working for the city when news of their blossoming romance began to circle throughout city hall — mostly because employees believed it went against the city’s rules of conduct. As Cepeda’s supervisor, Guerra was prohibited from dating her.  Read the full story at

Edinburg police chief suspended for 5 days

EDINBURG — The police chief here was suspended Friday. It’s unclear why Edinburg City Manager Richard Hinojosa suspended chief Cesar Torres for five days. Hinojosa did not return a call seeking comment Friday evening. Torres confirmed the news via a phone call Friday evening, but did not disclose the nature of the suspension. “I disagree with it 100%,” he said. Read the full story at

Edinburg Asst. Police chief stripped of his duties

An assistant police chief here was recently stripped of his title, but don’t call it a demotion, police chief Cesar Torres said Thursday. Former assistant chief Juan “Jay” Hernandez is back on patrol after Torres removed him from the assistant police chief post in late December. Read the full story at

Texas Tribune to host healthcare forum in Edinburg

As the Rio Grande Valley goes, so goes the state of Texas. The region is both ahead of the curve when it comes to demographics and behind it when it comes to healthcare access. That’s why it’s the perfect setting for The Texas Tribune’s upcoming conversation, dubbed The Future of Healthcare, Tribune CEO Evan Smith said. Read the full story at